Choosing a Topic

I’ve told you about our local philosophy group before, like when we discussed racism. Our next meeting is Wednesday next week, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re talking about 21st Century Civil Rights. Which was actually my suggestion, in response to the facilitator’s request for a good MLK theme. So I guess half a point for me.

The thing is, I always suggest the same topic for our next meeting: body modification. I never have any takers. Ian suggests something about guns pretty regularly as well, and I think that’s a lot more likely to be voted in than body mods. It’s frustrating, because there’s just so much to talk about when it comes to body modification.

It isn’t just tattoos and piercings, which is what most people first think of and then simply stop thinking about it. Sure, that’s part of it, but the possibilities are practically endless, just as the human imagination is practically endless.

Tattoos.
Piercings.
Implants.
Scarification.
Ear pointing.
Breast implants.
Liposuction.
Botox.
Circumcision.
Scar reduction/removal.
Bodybuilding.
Shaving.

All examples of body modification.

 Modify is a great documentary about extreme body modification. And I certainly agree with the philosophy expressed by one of the subjects of the documentary. Body modification is, at its most basic, the definition of those two terms. It’s changing one’s body, and if part of that is socially acceptable, all of it should be. I hate the word ‘should,’ with a passion, but in this case, it’s really my only option.

In our differences, we are the same, and those of us who choose to modify ourselves in visible ways that are currently unusual are only making that truth more evident.

I’m reasonably certain that if I had grown up somewhere else, somewhere outside the southern United States, I’d be much more heavily modified at this point in my life. But as it stands, I’m hundreds of miles from the nearest APP certified piercer, and there’s only so far I’m willing to trust my local piercers. I’m deeply thankful that my interest has led me to learn so much about the subject, or who knows what I would have paid people to do to my body?

I like looking different. The more I alter my physical appearance in ways that I enjoy, the more I feel like myself. The more comfortable I am in my own skin. And above all else, that is a good reason to promote acceptance of body modification.

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5 Comments on “Choosing a Topic”

  1. LRose says:

    Makeup…you know, the tribes that use a brush or their finger tips to discolor their faces…

  2. Justine says:

    I love the idea of your philosophy discussion group. And I wonder … are they afraid of facing their own bias? It’s amazing how people are willing to talk about racism but not about the body in other ways …

  3. abbiosbiston says:

    It’s a fascinating topic. I find it interesting how in different cultures different modifications are socially acceptable.


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